A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Briere a Flyer

Philly made the first big splash of the free agency period Sunday afternoon when they signed Daniel Briere to an eight year deal valued at $52M. He will earn $10M this year, but the cap hit will be just $6.5M.
Briere is a good player, but this is lunacy. Ten million dollars? This, I'm afraid, is the result of last year's $5M arbitration award. That should never have happened. The Sabres should have gotten him signed, but instead they find themselves in a tough spot. I said last summer that the award would cause problems, and I thought they would come up sooner than this. I guessed that they would walk away, and Briere would have signed somewhere else.
Even after his 95-point season and disappearance in the playoffs, nobody in their right mind would have guessed that he would be paid $10M. The average of his 8-year deal is $6.5, which I still think is a bit high, but it's much more reasonable than $10.

Now we're starting to hear rumblings that Chris Drury doesn't want to return to Buffalo and that he is being courted by a certain team who wears teal. We'll probably know more about that by day's end. If this turns out to be so, Buffalo will have to aggressively go after some of the other name brand players in the FA market. And they will have to reconsider their intentions for Dainius Zubrus.

Don't be surprised to see Scotty Gomez in Buffalo next season. He made $5M last year with the Devils. After a below average season, he's not in line for a raise, so consider him to be a downgrade from Briere, but for the same money (or maybe even more money). Again, this goes back to what I've been saying for over a year: they should have signed Briere to a long term contract instead of allowing him to go to arbitration.

Now. About Philly....

With the Briere signing, they come in at about a $48.6M cap hit, and I think they need one or two more forwards. They have made some very serious moves to improve their team.

Last I heard, they did not give Joni Pitkanen a qualifying offer, which means his status changes from RFA to UFA.

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